Every day you try to be the best parent you can. Anything with wrinkles related to it, like your last load of laundry that you failed to take out for three days, will always catch up and remain plastered to your face for days with regret. Being single with two boys, outrunning wrinkles is like trying to chase a bus; with the driver looking in the rear view mirror, laughing at the world sweating behind him.
Until you grab the doors that is.
This is where I thank God for taking my perfectionist attitude and stuffing it in a tiny Beanie Baby toy that my 7 year old carries around with him everywhere like a sacred cross. But do not laugh at the dingy, often filthy, can’t-kill-this-toy-with-a-truck (no lie), for it has survived it all. The floors can be clean enough to eat off of, but the gray tiger who had long lost his stripes to being over-loved will still sit on the dining room table, mocking me with its blue eyes as I set it for dinner.
When I check my bank account, it watches me.
When I wash the dishes, it’s still there, watching me from the jar of cookies.
And when I go to sleep, it will wake me up. Either like a pea under my side or with the unintentional dust mop of itself three inches from my face with a sneeze.
Phear the toy, for the plague that follows it will strike and leave you feeling and looking old and there is no escape, for it has the love of your child hostage within it making it immune to the water, fire, traffic and being lost to the cushions of the couch. For it will rise up against you once you think you are safe to sit down. That is until one evens the odds by calling a truce with the painful Decepticon toy your foot lands on in the morning when leaving the bed. By carefully distributing the small army of Transformers on your desk, counter and night stand, one would never believe that Mommy deliberately hurled the precious Mousey across the house to the dog bed over the evil Starscream.
Of all the times to have an old, gutless mule of a dog and not a puppy.
Yesterday, Mousey. Today, the dog’s bath. Tomorrow, Cybertron. If I get that far, maybe I’ll come back to try my luck with the world.